How To Do Straight Leg Deadlift Properly

A personal favorite to most trainers or workout enthusiasts, the Straight Leg Deadlift is one of the most fundamental workouts that strengthens the body and increases muscle hypertrophy.

Being a compound exercise, multiple muscles in the body get to be stimulated where the primary target muscles are the hamstrings muscles.

Definitely whether you are a beginner or an advanced workout guy, this workout should be incorporated in your daily workout routines especially if you are after optimal muscle mass and explosive power.

HOW TO DO STRAIGHT LEG DEADLIFT PROPERLY

Deadlift variations get to choose between weighed barbells, dumbbells or kettlebells for the workout and for this specific workout, we will use a medium weighted barbell that at least matches your muscle strength.

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How to do it:

  • Load up a barbell with weights that best works with you and stand with your feet hip width apart. Your foot should almost be below the bar.
  • Hinge at the hips until your torso is almost parallel to the floor and grab the bar with an overhand grip wrapping your thumbs on it firmly. Your hands should be about shoulder width apart.
  • Your knees should have a slight bend but shins perpendicular to the floor, your spine neutral and your shoulders to be roughly on the same height as your hips. This is your starting position.
  • Inhale as you drive through your feet while extending your hips and knees. Lift off the barbell as if pushing the floor away and keep the bar close to your body as you assume a standing position.
  • Your hamstrings will be in a maximum contraction as it activates to stabilize your movement.
  • Exhale once at the standing position and lock your hips by pushing them forward while squeezing your glutes hard. Maintain a neutral spine.
  • Maintain the standing position for a count of two and then lower back down to your starting position by again hinging at the hips and allowing your hamstrings to fully contract and work on the movement.
  • The barbell should not rest on the floor since once you are on your lowest point you repeat the same movement repeatedly until you finish a set.
  • Your spine should be neutral at all times to avoid inserting tension and stress from the weights and movement.
  • Do 2 sets of 4-8 reps.

WHAT MUSCLES DO STRAIGHT LEG DEADLIFT WORK

HAMSTRINGS

Located at the back of the legs, the hamstrings muscles consist of four separate muscles (two bicep femoris, semitendinosus and semimembranosus) that join together to help you complete the movement without toppling over.

When hinging at the hip while holding the weights, the muscles stretch and contract effectively that you will feel the pain and fat burning as soon as the first three or two reps are done.

GLUTES

Equally engaged muscles, the glutes main function is to extend and abduct the thighs at the hip joint. Squeezing the muscles while fully extending the hips stimulates the glutes muscles and assists in burning fat and muscle activation.

CALVES

The calf muscles is found behind the shin and the muscles helps with numerous foot activities like walk, run, jump, flex your foot and the common of all for this workout, locking your knees and flexing of the leg.

BACK MUSCLES

From the traps to the lats and all the way down to the lower back, the muscles get a taste of the workout and they may not engage fully, they help with the movements and assist in stabilization.

ABDOMINAL MUSCLES

With the upper body involved, it obvious your core will automatically pick up its role in maintaining a stable form when lifting same as the oblique muscles.

STRAIGHT LEG DEADLIFT BENEFITS

STRONGER LEG MUSCLES

It is inevitable for Straight Leg Deadlift to build mass, tone and define the leg muscle. The workout explodes power and intensity to the muscles that the only option is to burn fat and build muscles.

Being a compound workout, multiple main lower body muscles are engaged which makes muscle growth and balance near a must.

Stronger legs comes from intense muscle activation that facilitate muscle growth and increased strength. A great advantage to athletes and workout beast that want to increase endurance and muscle power.

STRENGTHENS THE POSTERIOR CHAIN

The posterior chain entails of the structure at the back of the spine and legs. The muscles comprise of the erector spinae muscles, the lats, the glutes, the hamstrings and calves muscles.

The workout mostly relies on the lower back muscles to begin the movement same as the hamstring muscles. Straightening the legs activates the muscles effectively and quickens muscle build up and strengthening.

Strengthening the posterior chain is increasing your performance and endurance in sports or in workouts. A strong form is the outcome.

ALTERNATIVES TO STRAIGHT LEG DEADLIFT

BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT

For balance and strengthening of the leg muscles, Bulgarian split squat is a great workout to start with.

The workout helps increase muscle strength specifically targeting the hamstrings and glutes by isolating them.

BARBELL HIP THRUST

We all need that one alternative for Straight Leg Deadlift that you can do while home, barbell hip thrust is a great workout for the glutes and hamstrings. The barbell adds resistance to the workout and helps increase muscle activation.

STRAIGHT LEG DEADLIFT MISTAKES TO AVOID

BENDING OF THE KNEES

Just from the name, you already know bending of the knees is doing a different variation all together. Slightly bending the knees when initiating the movement increases the pushing momentum that helps to activate the target muscles.

CURVING YOUR BACK

Protect your spine by maintaining a neutral spine meaning having a straight back throughout the workout.

Deadlift on its own does a number or two on the spine and sometimes getting lower back pain from deadlifting so to minimize the downside, neutralize your spine.

After a while you can develop long-term back pain due to curving your back so mind your posture when deadlifting.

USING EXCESS WEIGHTS

No show offs while deadlifting, just stay within your range and you will feel and see results after a short period since the workout is a power workout.

Excess weights mean trouble to your spine.

CONCLUSION

Straight Leg Deadlift is a workout that almost every gym goer needs, not just to bulk but also to effectively strengthen the posterior chain and give you a nice form and posture.

For power and strength, then you have the winning exercise. Utilize it and get the advantage of increasing your muscle mass and strength.